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How to Train Your Dragon: Serpent’s Heir TPB Review

4 Feb

HTTYD Serpents HeirBy Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

* Mild spoiler alert

If I had to decide between which How to Train your Dragon (HTTYD) comic book series to follow, my vote is for Dark Horse Comics‘ official follow-up. Penned by Dean DeBlois, director and showrunner of DreamWorks’ series, and Richard Hamilton (Star Wars: Dark Times), I’m enjoying the continuing adventures which take place after the second movie as it puts Hiccup into new adventures before he can even get comfortable with his new crown.

The Serpent’s Heir begins with everyone from the village of Berk helping to rebuild. After a few mishaps, King Hiccup gets a visitor from another island tribe. Calder’s village is being racked with earthquakes and while he expected to meet Stoick the Vast, he only finds the boy king. This young leader certainly has learned a lot from his dad, and he knows never to turn his back to those in need. Both he and his Dragon Riders travel to the island of Nepenthe to assist and find treachery in the midst.

While this first graphic novel is an easy short read, I feel these trials are just one of many in a series of books to help cement Hiccup as King of the Archipelago. News about Stoick’s death has not spread far, but it soon will. Other Vikings will come to challenge Hiccup. Unlike other burly soldiers who are hard to push over, this matchstick shaped lad may seem easy to bend.

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Hammer Comics Gets ‘Fresh’ with The Mummy

15 Dec

184068_1011544_1003By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Hammer Comics’ The Mummy is looking to bring back the film studio’s trademark style of terror. The afterward in the first issue by film historian Marcus Hearn explained executive producer Michael Carreras never lost sight of the fact that The Mummy was aimed squarely at the audience who love X-rated horror. The comic nicely continues in this tradition. While the creative team is cheating by taking cues from the upcoming film of the same name starring Tom Cruise with two sexy mummies causing havoc, I’m okay with that.

Ronilson Freire’s art nicely follows along the style presented from the early Hammer films and the period look is well-researched. Unlike cinematic treatments from classic Hammer era, to create that mystical world of the Duat would only look cheesy. The comic medium is perfect to bring to the Duat (the Egyptian Underworld) to life.

The first issue sets up the situation where Priestess Nebetah is ready to be judged in the weighing of the heart with Osiris presiding. Instead, Anubis intercepts and as for why, the answer will not be immediately known. While the spirit is waiting for a vessel to possess, Angelina Kostenko is not going to be so willing.

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The Science of Why & Where to Find Jay Ingram Next

2 Dec

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

Celebrated Canadian broadcaster and writer Jay Ingram is touring and promoting his latest book The Science of Why: Answers to Questions About the World Around Us at select stops. This book came out November 1st, and his visit to Victoria, BC at Bolen Books arrived thirty days later, on December 1st, where he spoke to a crowd of children and adults who grew up watching either CBC’s Quirks & Quarks (1979-1992) or Discovery Channel Canada’s Daily Planet (19952-2011). Repeats of the latter program show he will never be missed.

For this writer, to see him speak in person reveals why his presence is delightful. He began the approximately hour-long presentation with a brief discussion about Alzheimer’s — in connection to his book, The End of Memory — and he imparted advice which everyone should take heart. People who walked for at least half an hour each day are less prone to getting this dementia than those who are not. For some people, this fact is well-known. For others, to learn how to improve one’s health as he or she gets older can be discovered anytime.

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Dark Horse Comics, Ed’s Picks of August and Sept 2016

19 Sep

Dark Horse Logo

By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)

The last day of Summer and beginning of Autumn marks a busy time in my schedule. There are theatrical productions to enjoy and there’s a stack of comics piling up at home. Oh the choices! What can I say? Yes, I’m behind. But I offer selections of what I have waited to read (offering my thoughts mixed in with the official synopsis this time ’round) and a few I’m anxiously waiting for. I must admit that I tend to binge read. Having just issue #1 is not enough to know what’s ahead in the following titles from Dark Horse Comics:

Kingsway West #1 (Aug 24)

After spending thirteen years in a war that made him a monster, a Chinese gunslinger named Kingsway Law just wants to live in peace with his wife, Sonia. While this comic is not the Kung Fu series starring David Carradine, I’m liking this unique take on mysticism. The fantastical Old West is crackling with magic! When a woman with a red-gold sword brings bloody chaos to his doorstep, Kingsway must fight for his life, his wife, and his very soul.

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